Centre for the Study of Hispanic Exile

Pere Calders [1912–1994]

Date of Birth: 1 Jan 1912 Barcelona
Died: 21 Jul 1994 Barcelona (age 82)

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Catalan writer of short stories and novellas of fantasy and science fiction. Exiled in Mexico, he became in later life one of Catalonia's most widely read and popular authors.

Time Table

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1912–1920 Barcelona
Born into a pro-Catalan family. His father is an amateur writer and printer.
1920 Barcelona
Attends the Escola Mossèn Cinto.
1929 Barcelona
Studies Fine Arts at l'Escola Superior de Belles Arts in Barcelona.
1932 Publishes his first articles in Diari Mercantil and Avui.
1935 Marries Mercè Casals, with whom he has a son.
1936 Writes for satirical weekly L'Esquella de la Torratxa, edited by his friend Avel·lí Artís Gener, "Tísner" .
1937 Joins the PSUC. Volunteers for the Republican Army as a military cartographer. Finalist for the Narcís Oller prize with L'any de la meva gracia. Wins a literary contest with his novel La cèllula, which is never published and is subsequently lost.
1938 Finalist for the Creixells prize with his first long novel, Gaeli i l'home déu.
Jan 1939 Mexico
Departs for Mexico, where he spends the next 23 years and writes some of his best works. Works in Mexico City for the publishing company Union Tipográfica Editorial Hispanoamericana (UTEHA) and writes regularly for exile journals: Quaderns de l'Exili, Lletres, La Nova Revista, Pont Blau, Fascicles Literaris.
1939 Interned in the Prats de Molló detention camp, from which he manages to escape with the help of the Red Cross. After a short period of time in France, he departs for Mexico. His wife follows him in December.
1939–1962 Mexico City
He spends 23 years in Mexico, writing some of his best works during this time. Works in Mexico City as a graphic designer for the publishing company Union Tipográfica Editorial Hispanoamericana (UTEHA) and writes regularly for exile journals: Quaderns de l'Exili, Lletres, La Nova Revista, Pont Blau, Fascicles Literaris. Marries Rosa Artís and has three children.
1942 Mexico City
Wins the Premi Concepció Rabell de narrativa dels Jocs Florals de la Llengua Catalana, held in Mexico City, for Memories especials, later incorporated into Cròniques de la veritat oculta.
1943 Divorces Mercè Casals and marries Rosa Artís on the same day. Co-founds the journal Lletres with Josep Carner and Agustí Bartra.
1947 Calders' first son with Rosa Artís, Raimon, is born.
1949 His daughter, Gloria, is born.
1951 His daughter, Tessa, is born.
1955 Barcelona
Calders' father enters some of his son's short stories for the Víctor Català prize, which he wins. This leads to the first serious studies of his work. Cròniques de la veritat oculta published in Barcelona, Calders' first book to be published there since the war.
1958–1959 Writes and funds the publication of Fascicles literaris, a monthly journal on current affairs in Catalonia.
1962 Barcelona
Returns definitively to Barcelona. Works for the Editorial Montaner i Simó, which has been bought by UTEHA. Continues to write for a number of journals.
1964 Receives the Sant Jordi Prize for Catalan Literature for L'ombre de L'atzavara.
1969 Wins the Premi de la Crítica Serra d'Or. His father dies. Publishes an article entitled 'D'un extrem a l'altre' in the magazine Tele-estel, complaining about the lack of interest in Catalan writers who do not write works of social realism.
1977 His mother dies.
16 Sep 1978 Barcelona
The theatre group Dagoll Dagom performs Antaviana at the Villarroel Theatre, a play based on stories by Calders with music by Jaume Sisa, to great critical acclaim. This raises the author's profile, leading to the re-publication of many of his works. The group re-stages the play in 1985.
1979 Barcelona
Wins the Lletra d'Or prize for L'invasió subtil i altres contes, his first new work of fiction in 15 years.
1984 Barcelona
Wins the Premi a la Creació de la Generalitat de Catalunya for Tot s'aprofita.
1986 Barcelona
Wins the Premi d'Honor de les Lletres Catalanes. Publication of his novel Gaeli i l'home déu, thought lost but rediscovered by Amanda Bath.
Apr 1991 Named Writer of the Month by the Institució de les Lletres Catalanes. Publishes Dibuixos de guerra. Kalders i Tísner.
1992 Awarded an honorary doctorate by the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, and the Medalla de la Ciutat de Barcelona al mèrit artístic.
1993 Awarded the Premi Nacional de Periodisme (Departament de Cultura de la Generalitat) for his article, 'Sense carta de navegar' published in Avui(11 Oct 1992).
1994 Barcelona
Dies in Barcelona. A monument is erected to him in Llançà, where the family used to spend its Summers.
1995 Posthumous publication of his correspondence with Rosa Artís in Mexico, Cartes d'amor.
2000 Barcelona
Exhibition about Pere Calders and his work at the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona.
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Works About

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Imatge i Paraules de Pere Calders. Una invasió subtil
Website dedicated to Pere Calders by the Institut d'Estudis Catalans. It contains biographical information about Calders, photographs, and details of the contents of his archive, which is kept in the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona.
Pere Calders, escriptor
Article in Catalan from Letra, by Joan Melcion. Also available in English and Castilian.
Pere Calders
Website dedicated to Calders by the Associació d'Escriptors en Llengua Catalana (AELC).
El meu avi, Pere Calders
Website from a Catalan TV programme entitled 'El meu avi', which includes bio-bibliographical information on the author.
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